Shaheen Bagh Protesters Deny ‘Rumours’ of Calling Off Sit-in
Former Congress MLA Asif Khan and local leader Ashu Khan were spotted at the protest with their men.
A day after some organisers of the Shaheen Bagh road blockade in New Delhi called off the protest, alleging political interference, a number of women protesters have voiced their objection and denied the same.
On Thursday, 2 January, Sharjeel Imam, one of the organisers of the protest, put up a Facebook post suggesting “Congressis” have “hijacked” the stage.
“We request all of you to stop sending any assistance to this stage which has been now hijacked by Congressis, and cash hungry gangs who don’t care about riots and its implications for the community,” he had said.
However, at least one of the protesters speaking to The Quint, said the Congress leaders had come to "calm the chaos" after some of the "self-proclaimed organisers" spread rumours that the police was planning to lathi charge and asked the protesters to leave.
“The local leaders come to the protest regularly but don’t usually partake in speeches and slogan raising,” the woman protester, who refused to reveal her identity, said.
An Indian Express article also quoted protesters who denied any reports of the sit-in being called off.
“Why will we move? Let any inspector or SP come, let them use lathis or guns, we will not move till we get justice. Some people had come to the stage this morning and said we should move but we chased them away,” the report quoted Ronak Jehan, a 55-year-old protester sitting with her grand-daughter, as saying.
Another protester, Shabnam Shafi, asserted that the rumours are being spread by "outsiders", the report said.
Political Leaders Spotted, ‘Police Probably Asked to Not Intervene’
On Thursday, former Congress MLA Asif Khan and local leader Ashu Khan were spotted at the protest with their men, which fueled the claims that the protest was being infiltrated by political forces.
“Police was probably asked not to intervene, because BJP intends to intervene themselves. If that happens, our peaceful protest will be tarnished, and it will break the morale of the people.”Sharjeel Imam, an organiser of the Shaheen Bagh protest
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